Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - October 02, 2012

From: Lubbock , TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Groundcovers, Shade Tolerant
Title: Groundcover for rock garden under large oak
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am planning a small rock garden under a large oak tree. I would like a spreading evergreen ground cover that will grow in the shade. Drought-tolerant would be preferred as I live in the high plains of Texas (Lubbock). We are now on water-rationing. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

 Here are some low-growing plants that are native to the Panhandle of Texas that will grow in part shade (2 to 6 hours of sun per day).  I wasn't able to find any groundcover-type plants that are native to the Panhandle that grow in dry full shade (less than 2 hours sun per day).  These that grow in part shade should be able to grow in the shade, but they probably won't flower as much as they would in the sun.

Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida (Prairie verbena) grows in part shade and sun.

Hedeoma drummondii (Drummond's false pennyroyal) grows in part shade.

Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot daisy) grows in part shade and sun.

Pectis angustifolia (Limoncillo) grows in part shade.

Portulaca pilosa (Chisme) grows in part shade and sun.

Quincula lobata (Purple groundcherry) grows in part shade and sun.

Scutellaria resinosa (Resin-dot skullcap) grows in part shade.

Tradescantia occidentalis (Prairie spiderwort) grows in part shade and sun. 

Zinnia grandiflora (Rocky mountain zinnia) grows in part shade.

You can search for other possibilities on the Texas-High Plains Recommended list.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to choose the criteria for the plants you want.

 

From the Image Gallery


Prairie verbena
Glandularia bipinnatifida var. bipinnatifida

Drummond's false pennyroyal
Hedeoma drummondii

Blackfoot daisy
Melampodium leucanthum

Limoncillo
Pectis angustifolia

Kiss me quick
Portulaca pilosa

Purple groundcherry
Quincula lobata

Sticky skullcap
Scutellaria resinosa

Prairie spiderwort
Tradescantia occidentalis

Plains zinnia
Zinnia grandiflora

More Groundcovers Questions

Possible ground covers under pine trees in Illinois
April 18, 2006 - Have pine trees in front of house. No luck with the lawn around them....was told it's because of ground acidity. Any tips on how to get a lawn to grow there? If not, can you suggest some ground cover...
view the full question and answer

Replacing St. Augustine with Horse herb in Austin, TX.
December 12, 2012 - I'm considering replacing my St. Augustine grass with a Horseherb/Straggler Daisy ground cover, but I've heard that it provides a mosquito breeding habitat, especially if you allow dead leaves to de...
view the full question and answer

Virginia wild strawberry plants for New Hampshire or Massachusetts
February 25, 2009 - Where can I find Virginia wild strawberry plants or seeds for my garden and will they grow up north in New Hampshire or Massachusetts?
view the full question and answer

O.K. to grow grass under a live oak?
November 26, 2014 - Is it a bad idea to plant grass around a mature live oak? We have erosion issues and trying to keep mulch in the beds around the tree groves is a challenge, even with edging. Much of the native dirt...
view the full question and answer

Removal of bramble under live oaks and replacing with groundcover
September 26, 2007 - We have several large live oaks on the front of our 12 acre property in Hockley, Texas. Under and around each oak is an extensive amount of bramble which we would like to remove so that we can enjoy ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.